Day 106 8/13 0 miles
Big fat zero today in Leadore. I definitely needed it. For the most part my body has been holding up pretty well but after a couple thousand miles of walking I think it’s only natural to have a whole bunch of little aches and pains. A day off isn’t going to hurt any of that. Leadore didn’t have too much going on and that made it easy to really just relax. A bunch of us went out to breakfast this morning and the food was good but the service was lousy, that was no surprise though, a sign on the wall said that it would be. The grocery store and the restaurant are close walking distance to the inn so besides eating and resupplying I spent most of the day just chilling out on lawn furniture in the yard at the inn with the other hikers who were in town. The Leadore Inna general store QB demolishing a pizza
Day 107 8/14 23 miles
I slept comfortably until about 8:30 this morning then packed up and got a quick breakfast and coffee before heading back to the trail. Whenever I take a day off from hiking it always feels like I’ve been away from it for a week. Sam, the owner of the inn, drove me, QB, Moaglee, Little Spoon and Diesel, a southbounder, up to the trail around 11am. The trail was quite pleasant today, I don’t know if it was the day off or the easy hiking but it just felt real nice all day. QB and I leap frogged with Moaglee and Little Spoon a few times and since those two have the same pack as me they showed me how to properly buckle it. I’m an idiot. I never knew I was doing it wrong, I just had all kinds of extra straps and buckles and didn’t know where they were supposed to connect. I’ve only been using it everyday for 3 months but now it all makes sense. After a while of walking through forests and over some open ridges, Queen B and I found a primo spot to camp in some pines over looking a huge valley and another incredible sunset.
Day 108 8/15 29 miles
Today was another absolutely pleasant and peaceful day hiking the CDT. The weather was perfect for walking, probably in the 60’s and 70’s all day with zero precipitation and minimal wind. This morning we walked across Lemhi Pass which I learned has some serious historical significance as it was the Pass where the Lewis and Clark expedition crossed the Divide. It was also the border between the Louisiana Purchase and the Oregon Territory. You’ll have to google Lemhi Pass if you want a real history lesson, these are just a couple of little facts I picked up while reading the informational signs. After the pass most of the day was spent on nice soft trail through pine forest and then the last 8 or 9 miles we were up and down climbing little peaks and walking along ridges. I saw 3 black bears around 6:30, a mom and two cubs, sprinting across the trail from about 50 yards away. I saw more bears than people today. For the whole trail I’ve now seen 10 bears to QB’s 2. I guess I’m just better at seeing bears. At the end of the day we dropped way down off a ridge and found ourselves a nice little campsite in the woods.evidence of the Blair Witch QB eyeballing some big old Idaho mountains
Day 109 8/16 23 miles
The trail today was pretty relaxing. Besides a climb up to a pass right away this morning, the miles were mostly uneventful. Around 4 this afternoon we got to Miner’s Lake Trailhead, where we had planned to meet my parents. This morning they flew from Boston to Bozeman, MT where they rented a car and drove as close to the trailhead as possible and when the road turned into a rocky jeep road they walked the remaining few miles to meet us. We all got there right on time, just good planning I guess. The 4 of us walked out the few miles to their rental and then they took us into the town of Wisdom, MT where they had rented a cabin. They took us to resupply then out to dinner and put us up for the night. My mother also brought me out a new shirt(the one I’ve been wearing has become a tattered rag so she brought me a Hawaiian shirt that I think was in my father’s current rotation), a fresh pair of sneakers, and my fleece sleeping bag liner for some colder nights that I expect. These two are the ultimate trail angels and I’ve missed eating meals on their dime. Of course it was great to see them too, I’ve definitely missed them and the rest of my family while I’ve been out here just walking all summer.a very nice family reunion with my parents in MontanaThis shirt served me well, but it’s literally falling apart. I’ll fondly remember the time we spent together and specifically when a hummingbird mistook the flowers for actual flowers.
Day 110 8/17 29 miles
First thing this morning Cat and Den (my folks) whipped up an excellent breakfast of French toast, bacon and fried eggs before getting us back out to the trail. They parked at the campground and then the 4 of us walked the 3 miles of jeep road back to the Miner’s Lake Trailhead. The plan is for me and QB to do a 55 mile section and then tomorrow night my parents will park at Chief Joseph Pass and hike south along the Divide until we meet up. Queen B and I will get off trail for a day on Saturday and chill out with them or go on a little adventure or whatever. So shortly after we got going, about 5 miles from the trailhead we reached the top of a Pass and it was awesome! I felt pretty bad that I didn’t get my parents to walk up there with us but I didn’t know how spectacular it would be. There were big huge granite peaks in every direction and when I let out a nice loud blood curdling scream I could here my echo like 6 or 7 times over. The rest of today was lots of big mountains, wild flowers and alpine lakes. We swam in the afternoon in Slag-o-melt lake and even saw a mountain goat appropriately climbing up a mountain. In the evening we followed the trail as it contoured around the sides of mountains and eventually descended into forest where we found a place to camp. B crushing trail through the wildflowersNew shirt, new me
Day 111 8/18 27 miles
Today was no picnic. We started by dropping way down to about 5700 feet, this is the lowest the trail has been since before Silver City, NM. Then we climbed way up a long steep jeep road and the rest of the day was a series of steep climbs and then steep descents through pine forests. For the most part the views were obscured by trees except for a few times when we walked through burn areas up high on ridges. In the evening, after not seeing anybody all day, we ran into a trail crew eating supper. The Idaho Conservation Corps had been building switchbacks into the sides of mountains out here for weeks and when we walked by they fed us spaghetti, just good timing. The trail turned onto a dirt road and after a little while we met my parents and walked out a few miles with them to Chief Joseph Pass. They brought us back to the cabin and had a home cooked meal ready to eat. Things are good.a scary haunted gold mining cabin in the middle of the woodsmy parents getting a taste of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail